Biffa dumps managers in private equity restructuring

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The Independent Online

The private equity backers of Biffa, the waste management group, are restructuring the group's key collection unit with a raft of middle-management redundancies and the creation of two call centres with 70 new jobs.

All 5,100 staff at Biffa, which was bought by Montagu Private Equity and Global Infrastructure Partners for £1.7bn in the spring, were last week told of a root-and-branch restructuring of the unit which employs more than 3,000 people. A new "hub and spoke" system will see some of the group's 63 depots shed staff, but two national call centres will be created.

It is also believed that Biffa's management is assessing whether drivers used by the group could be replaced by cheaper agency options. A decision on this has yet to be made.

A spokesman for Biffa, which is based in High Wycombe, confirmed that redundancies would be kept to a minimum. Earlier in the year, Biffa appointed Andre Horbach, the former chief executive of wind energy group Suzlon Energy and a 19-year veteran of General Electric in Europe, as its chief executive.

Biffa, which was spun out of Severn Trent before its stock market listing, made profits of £162m on sales of £743m for the year to the end of March.